What is luck and does it play a role in poker? After all, the greatest players in the world can’t have a consistent win rate purely because of chance. Can they? The truth is poker is a unique blend of luck, logic and talent. Want to know how to both beat and embrace luck in your game? Read on!
What is Luck?
Luck is a mysterious but universal force that can bring success or failure to an individual’s life. No matter a person's circumstance, skill or intellect, a little luck (be it bad or good) can greatly alter the course of a life. Even the most talented in their field need a little good fortune to get them in the right place at the right time. In the case of poker, this could mean being at the right table, at the right time, with the right hand. We don’t say this to diminish the hard work that people undertake throughout successful careers. However, it's foolish to think that if you do the same things they did, you’ll end up in the same place. Sometimes you need a touch of luck to ensure you show off your talent at the right time.
Does Luck Play a Role in Poker?
Let’s look at poker in comparison to its fellow popular casino games. Contained within every popular brick-and-mortar casino game is an element of chance and the opportunity to win real money. The presence of these traits alone allows us to define these casino games as gambling. Still, is it likely that we can simply lump poker in with the rest of the casino lot when it hosts key differences? Poker strays from the norm here in its wealth of opportunities for decision-making. Where other games only provide the chance for one or maybe two decisions (consisting of when and how much to bet) poker is slightly more complicated. What’s more, in poker, you’re typically playing against other human players. This opens the game up to human error (or skill) and thus, diminishes the element of chance.
Still, no matter which side of the argument you stand on, there’s no doubt that luck has its part to play. After all, you could be the best player at the table, holding an amazing four-of-a-kind hand. But even with the odds stacked in your favour, your opponent could technically still land a straight flush…with a little luck. This element of chance is part of what makes poker such an unpredictable and thrilling game. Regular players know that feeling of riding both hot and cold streaks. It can feel like, no matter how much experience or skill you bring to the table, fate is ultimately dealing out the winning hands as she pleases.
Veteran poker players take luck VERY seriously. After all, poker without luck isn’t poker at all. There’s a world of logic games that have removed the element of chance completely but which of these are as thrilling as poker? Some players try to carry their own special brand of good luck to the tables with the help of personal charms or clothing. To read more on how lucky poker clothing can shake the table, click here. [link to poker clothing news post]
Enhancing Your Luck
The best way to enhance your luck in poker is to first enhance your skills. This may not sound like luck at all but when the right cards come along, you’ll need the knowledge to recognise their value and know what to do with them. This is the only way you’ll get the most out of your lucky streak. Good fortune gives you the opportunity for greatness but you have to have the work ethic and talent to make it last.
Many experienced players also believe that the impact of luck on your game can be overridden by the sheer volume of hands played. The logic here is that any skill you possess will outweigh the interference of luck - both yours and other players'.
When Bad Luck Strikes
Losing streaks come to all players at some point in their career and sometimes it’s down to sheer bad luck! When it comes to overcoming bad beats or losing streaks you first need to accept that they’re part and parcel of the game itself. Once you’ve managed this you’ll be more at peace with bad luck and able to navigate it with a cooler head.
It may be beneficial to review what transpired in the previous losing hand. The purpose here isn’t to dwell but to examine whether or not you played the hand perfectly. If you deem that you did, then simple bad luck was at play. If however, you noticed an error in your performance, be sure to correct it in the upcoming hand.
Sadly, sometimes the easiest way to beat bad luck is to simply step away from the table. We know this advice is simple in theory but difficult in execution. Still, sometimes fate deals you a bad beat that…well…can’t be beaten. In this scenario, you need to put down your cards and look toward surviving to play another day.